Environmentalists plan suit to protect ice seals

Jun 04, 2009 By DAN JOLING , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- An environmental group says it will sue the federal government to force a decision on additional protections for Arctic seals.

The Center for Biological Diversity says in a notice of intent to sue filed this week that the Obama administration missed a deadline required by law for an endangered species listing decision on ringed, bearded and spotted .

A 60-day notification letter is required before a lawsuit can be filed.

The group in May 2008 petitioned to protect the Arctic seals because of threats to their habitat - - from global warming and petroleum development.

In September, federal officials found that the three seal species may deserve Endangered Species Act protection.

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